Shorecrest Preparatory School Blog

Learning Respect in the Preschool Classroom

Posted by Betty Gootson on Sep 24, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The Experiential School of Tampa Bay addresses the first of Shorecrest’s five Core Values and how it relates to young students.


The Experiential School motto is,

"At Shorecrest Preparatory School, we respect ourselves, each other and the environment."

This motto provides a basis for the interactions and actions of all members of our community that hopefully will extend far beyond school. To help our preschool students live the motto, they must first understand what respect means and looks like. After delving through many definitions of the word respect, I believe the following compilation of several is concrete enough for young children to come to understand, and is the most relevant to our expectations. As a noun, respect is the recognition that all people and elements of our environment, natural and otherwise, are important and should be treated in an appropriate way. Respect, as an action or verb, is thinking and acting in a positive way about them.

Teaching respect in the classroom begins first with teachers who consistently model positive interactions with their students and each other, because children learn appropriate and inappropriate social behaviors by observing the actions of others.

Best preschool in St. Petersburg, FL Values Respect

The second element is facilitation: helping the children find appropriate words with which to express themselves in a variety of situations. At school, the children encounter countless circumstances that come with being a member of a community. Waiting for a turn to talk, being required to share, and cleaning up materials may be new experiences to many of them. There are times when respect for others and things are required.

We encourage students to express their feelings, opinions and ideas, but to do so respectfully. By providing them with numerous opportunities to deal with real life situations, as well as consistent expectations for words and actions, children will learn to handle success, failure, joy and disappointment, as well as to negotiate and compromise. Through nature, as in our outdoor classroom and class pets, the students’ sense of wonder is fostered, which enhances their appreciation and respect of their natural environment. These are all elements of a day in an Experiential School classroom. 


Share your culture and traditions with us:

Respect is also developing an understanding and appreciation for the traditions of others. We have a community rich in culture and ethnicity. Children notice differences and are curious about them. They also receive many messages from the media and people with whom they come in contact.

As parents and teachers, we must take positive action to help children grow up comfortable with whom they are and to be respectful of others. To help our students understand and value different ethnicities and family structures, we read books (factual and fictional), and use dolls, pictures and other materials that are reflective of them, their families and our global society.

We try to tie lessons and experiences about culture, traditions and holidays that are relevant to our students into our curriculum. Our goal is to help our students grow up confident in their identity, respectful of all others, and aware and appreciative of their community and world. I invite you to contact the teachers if you would like to share aspects of your heritage or a holiday meaningful to your culture with us.

Topics: Preschool, Core Values